Hearts v Kilmarnock: TV info; kick-off time; team news; form guide; odds
Hearts kick off their Premier Sports Cup campaign at home to Kilmarnock on Wednesday. Here is all you need to know:
Who: Hearts v Kilmarnock
What: Premier Sports Cup last 16
Where: Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh
When: Wednesday, August 31, kick-off 7.45pm
Ticket and TV info
Tickets are now on general sale for the cup tie. The game has not been chosen by Premier Sports for live coverage. SPFL clubs are no longer allowed to sell non-televised home games as a pay-per-view option in the UK and Ireland after a temporary agreement with Sky Sports ended.
Liam Boyce and Kye Rowles are out for the long term, but Stephen Kingsley, Craig Halkett and Nathaniel Atkinson are all in contention to feature for Hearts after injury. In addition, Toby Sibbick and Alex Cochrane are available after suspension. Jorge Grant may miss out with a thigh problem but the midfielder should be back for Saturday's trip to Livingston. Hearts boss Robbie Neilson may opt to play a couple of youngsters.
Kilmarnock will be without goalkeeper Zach Hemming, who picked up an injury in pre-season. Scott Robinson (heel), Jeriel Dorsett (knee) and Wigan Athletic loanee Jordan Jones (thigh) are also recuperating from injuries and will play no part in Wednesday's match.
Hearts head into the match on a run of four wins from their last five games in all competitions, scoring 11 goals and conceding five since the start of July.
Newly-promoted Killie had taken just one point from their first four league games but came from behind to record their first win against against Motherwell at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Hearts have a poor record against Killie and head into this midweek clash having suffered defeat in each of their last four encounters since February 2019. The Ayrshire side have claimed five wins and one draw since Hearts last beat them in December 2016.
Don Robertson is the man in the middle, assisted by Frank Connor and Colin Drummond.
Robbie Neilson: “We’ve been preparing for this game prior to St. Johnstone. If we want to push for the higher levels in the league and playing in Europe, this schedule should be looked at as a reward rather than something we don’t want to do. When you look at their fixtures since they’ve came back up, they’ve had a difficult start. They’re had to deal with both Old Firm teams which is always difficult. As ever, Derek’s got them really well organised – plenty of threats, especially with Kyle Lafferty and the other front two. They’re physically strong, and they’ll come to Tynecastle and make it a tough game but we’re ready for it.”
Derek McInnes: “Tynecastle is on paper probably the third hardest draw we could have got. But at the same time it is important that we try to see the opportunity that is there for us. We want to be a good cup team as well as do well in the league. Hearts have done particularly well over the last wee while, Robbie has assembled a very strong squad. We watched their first-half performance last week (against Celtic) and it was such a good level. They have made huge strides in the last 18 months or so and so we are well aware of the task ahead of us. But at the same time, we have got good players. We have got to go there and enjoy the game, but we want to go and enjoy winning a cup tie."
When is the quarter-final draw?
The draw will take place on Wednesday night, but the time is not set in stone as it stands. It will begin following the final whistle of the second round clash between Ross County and Celtic, which kicks off at 7.45pm and is live on Premier Sports.